For One Pa. Couple, Voting For Trump Meant Relief From ‘Insane’ Insurance CostsThe Schultzes made too much money for subsidies to help them, but not enough to be able to afford the high cost of health insurance when premiums spiked this year. In other health law news, lobbyists scramble to take advantage of the new landscape as repeal looms, rural hospitals prepare to be hit hard if there's no replacement in sight, and Tim Kaine wants to rebrand Obamacare.
Abra and Matt Schultz, both 32, recently built a house in a middle class neighborhood in Pottsville, Pa. Matt works as a carpenter foreman for a construction company. He and Abra, his wife, are right in Trump's wheelhouse — Republicans in Republican Schuylkill County. The couple spent December trying to decide whether to buy health insurance or skip it for 2017. They voted for Trump because they were fed up with how much they are paying for health insurance. (Allen, 1/10)
Healthcare lobbying is about to shift into overdrive in Washington. With Republicans moving full-speed ahead with the repeal of ObamaCare, lobbyists on K Street are scrambling to come up with ways to influence the result. Few in the healthcare space expected President-elect Donald Trump’s election, and they are now playing catch-up as Republicans consider sweeping changes to the healthcare system that could rival the overhaul that Democrats passed in 2010. (Wilson, 1/11)
Judy Keller, 69, has always relied on Highlands Hospital for medical care, just as her parents did before her. ... “This hospital all my life has been here,” said Keller, now retired. “[It] helps a lot of people who don’t have adequate health care coverage — and I don’t know what they would do without it.” Aside from providing health care to a largely poor population, it provides hundreds of jobs in a town that locals say never recovered after industries such as coal mining and glass manufacturing disappeared. But in the wake of this fall’s presidential election, Highlands — like many other rural hospitals — will likely face new financial challenges that will intensify longstanding struggles, experts say. (Luthra, 1/11)
Knowing Republican distaste for Obamacare includes its name, Tim Kaine is suggesting a rebranding that even the GOP could love: “Americare.” “I thought it up over the weekend,” said Kaine at the start of a big week for out-of-luck Democrats and in-your-face Republicans. The junior U.S. senator from Virginia — better known beyond its borders as the defeated Democratic nominee for vice president — is smack-dab in the middle of the early skirmish over repeal of Obamacare. He is a Democratic point man, proposing language to slow Republicans’ fast-track dismantling of the Affordable Care Act. (Jeff Schapiro, 1/10)